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more light #137

To Join or Not To Join

by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

Written by an anonymous Brother

To join, or not to join, that is the question
Whether 'tis better for myself to suffer
This non-Masonic state of outer darkness
Or tread the path of other, braver men
And by enrolling, end it? To join - to meet
No more, and in the Lodge to say we end
The cold, uncharitable, unfeeling times
Non-Masons suffer - 'Tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To join the Lodge
Its mysteries perform - ay, there's the rub
For in those awful scenes what may be done
Which may intend to shake a strong man's soul?
It makes us pause. There's the respect
That makes calamity of our friendless state;
For who would bear the Solitary life
The World's indifference, the lack of Sympathy,
The want of friendly speech and the snubs
Which swelling self-importance stings us with,
Which he himself might evermore ignore,
By joining up? Who would so friendless be
To stand outside a genial Brotherhood
But that the dread of something afterwards
That unknown Society, whose secrets
No Mason reveals, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
So stand we hesitating on the brink
And so our firm resolve to join the Craft
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought
And leaves us marking time
On our own ground.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014